Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Camp Boyfriend by J.K. Rock SPECIAL PRE-SALE EVENT!

The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.                                           
But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?
There's a special pre-sale event for this awesome book that's coming out on July 2nd and that I really want now... Over at Good Choice Reading Blog Tours  it's explained that over at Anderson's Book Shop in Larchmont, NY there is a special event being hosted with author J.K. Rock to help celebrate their upcoming release. 

You can pre-order a signed copy of the book over at GCReading.

Those who pre-oder via Anderson's Book Shop not only get a SIGNED copy of CAMP BOYFRIEND (personalized or not), but the authors themselves will also ship out a friendship bracelet, and I ♥ CAMP tattoo to each person as a thank you! 

You can find more info at Good Choice Reading Blog Tours on how you can pre-order the book and also there is info on how you can spread the word and possibly win a signed copy of Camp Boyfriend for your own.

This book sounds like something I would enjoy so I wanted to share this with you all. 

What do you think of Camp Boyfriend?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Standalone. Sourcebooks Fire (February 2012) Won
Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...

I don't know if you know this but my brother loves comic books and everything that comes with it so being the younger sister to said brother some of that has rubbed off on me. Now, I could never know as much as our heroine Blaze does. I don't know when Wolverine first appeared and I don't have my favorite issue but I do have a favorite "superhero" who's actually a sidekick. I love Robin. Yeah, Batman's Robin. I love any heroes or sidekicks that are kids or teenagers. I guess it's fun to see someone my age fight bad guys. So why am I telling you all this? Well, it's me basically saying how excited I was to read a book with a comic book nerd girl getting revenge. I didn't know about the whole sext scandal like it says on the summary but it's not like it ruined anything for me. It did lead to a very nerdy revenge.

At first Blaze spouting out information about different issues of comics turned me off because I thought the author was trying to hard to establish her nerdiness. But, once I settled into Blaze's character I knew it wasn't an act especially when she went head to head with a certain Comic Book Guy. Blaze is her real name by the way. Her father, who's never around, has these collections of classic Marvel comics and one of them has the character of Johnny Blaze A.K.A. Ghost Rider which is of course her namesake. Her father is the reason she got into comics. I guess she knew he loved them and in a not so realistic way maybe he would pay attention to her if she could speak his language. 

Since her father moved away to New York to become an actor she's had to pick up the slack for her mom who works long hours at the hospital. Her mom always tells her how grateful she is which I appreciate because sometimes parents in book forget that their kid is a kid and not responsible for their responsibilities. There were times where she didn't see her daughter's point of view and jumped to conclusions or accused her of things. It irritated me a little but she's still a super great mom and character. So Blaze takes her brother, Josh, and his gassy, pubescent friends around everywhere but mainly to their soccer games where she expertly ogles their coach any time she can. She works on her own comic, The Blazing Goddess, while doing so and one day he finally notices her. 

As you know from the summary - Mark is a cad. Her brother tries to warn her but her ultra need to be his girlfriend wins out and she gets left in the cold. Blaze decides that The Blaze Goddess needs to come out into real life to exact her revenge on Matt the Shark and get the last laugh. But then Matt retaliates and Blaze is bullied incessantly. She doesn't know what to do or who to talk to. She definitely doesn't want Comic Book Guy, Quentin,  finding out about this because other than her two friends, one who will flirt with anyone and the other who is tough but has her back, and her brother and his gang of friends everyone else hates her. The difference is that she might be falling for him and she doesn't want to lose a good person like him.

Blaze makes a ton of mistakes. It might be too much for some people because she does act stupid. But for me I let most of it glide over. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and enjoyed her character despite her mistakes because all of us have crushed on someone so badly before that you would do anything for them to notice you and if they do you want to keep them. So I get it. I didn't judge her too harshly. There was some "slut bashing" which is apparently a thing where everyone would make fun of this girl who supposedly did it with everyone. Ironically, Blaze got in the same situation. I really didn't understand how someone could just call you so many demeaning words to your face. I just don't see people doing that. It's none of your business. What does it matter what she did or didn't send? Why do people care so much about things like that? It was pretty annoying but the story did bring up bullying and how ridiculous it is. It made a statement.

Overall: Blaze made a lot of mistakes but that didn't change the fact that her personality rocked. I loved reading about a comic book nerd finding her own strength after what seems like the worst possible thing happens to her. I also loved the protectiveness of her brother. He was one of my favorite characters if not the favorite character from the story. More comic/superhero/superpowers plots please! Oh, the only thing I didn't really like was the image of her "hot date in the back of her minivan". Not necessary.

For more info about Laurie Boyle Crompton you can go visit her at her website where you can find info on her upcoming release in early 2014 - Adrenaline

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wicked Fire Read-A-Thon Daily Updates

It's finally time to start this read-a-thon!

You can see my list and goals here.

I have mentally added some books in my head so I might deviate from the list.

Friday, June 7th
Current Book(s):

Number of books read today: 1
Number of pages read today: 465

Thoughts: Noon: So far I've read 140 pages of Blaze. She doesn't mind saying or thinking whatever she wants. She's a pretty straight shooter and I know she's going to realize what scum Matt is soon. I hope she get's with Comic book guy because he's good looking and is into comics which is so her. I can't wait until the revenge portion of this book starts. I'm going to go check out what the challenges are now and see if I want to join in. I might update more than two times a day. We will see. 2:36 PM: Finished my first book! I'm excited to get started on the next read but might hold that off to write a review on Blaze. Looking good so far! 11:40 PM So I'm sleepy and it's almost the next day and I wanted to update my post. I started The Silver Linings Playbook. I initially was worried I was going to focus on comparing it to the movie too much which I've been doing but it hasn't hindered my reading experience. It's still really good. I'm 151 pages in and I have 80 more to go. I would have finished it by now but I got invited to something and had to go right away. This book has me wanting to keep going but for some reason I'm already tired. Probably because Molly likes to wake me up already and right now I know I in for a rough night sine she's playing with my pillows tags... Sigh. Well I hope to go to the library tomorrow and get lots of books checked out. I also hope to finish Silver Linings and another book if I can. Goodnight fellow readers!

Saturday, June 8th
Current Book(s):

Number of books read today: 3
Number of pages read today: 222
Total number of books read: 4
Total number of pages read: 687

Thoughts: 11:30 AM: So I finished The Silver Linings Playbook and I'm feeling good. Hopefully I can swing by the library today and get the massive amount of books waiting for me. I realized yesterday that Monday-Wednesday I will be away so I might not get to update as regularly as I would like. I may be able to read a book or two though. I know I have a couple of books that are short which will raise my book reading number. I know it's kind of cheating but my goal is with reading more, not my page numbers. I don't know what to start next yet... 2:15 PM I didn't feel like getting into a 200+ page book right now so I read my first novella which was pretty adorable although I thought the guy deserves better. I didn't count the pages for and excerpt on another book by the author so it was only 65 pages in my mind. I took forever reading it. An hour to read 65 pages!? I guess it's about right but I still didn't expect it take that long. I'm going to take a little break to figure out what I want to read next. So happy I'm 30% done with my goal. 11:35 PM: Finished another little book about 76 pages. I expected it to be longer - more like a graphic novel which it is but they are usually longer. I'm too tired to start my next read. I at least know what it is. I was able to get to the library and check out 9 books for me and 1 for my mother. She actually has good taste. I actually want to read it after her. Anyways I might not be able to post a lot since I'm leaving tomorrow and coming back Wednesday I believe. I just hope I am able to read all the books I want and they are actually lengthy reads. Well, Goodnight fellow readers!

Sunday, June 9th
Current Book(s):

Number of books read today: 0
Number of pages read today: 276
Total number of books read: 4
Total number of pages read: 963

Thoughts: 12:40 PM I thought that we would have left by now but I guess not. I will be starting My Life in Black & White soon. I have a bunch of books stashed in my bag including my ereader. You know you are a book lover when you 5 books and an ereader stuffed in one medium sized Tinkerbell bag. I might be able to update at night or if not tomorrow morning. I want to figure out what songs I can put to my books for a challenge. It's not going very well.

Monday, June 10th
Current Book(s)

Number of books read today: 1
Number of pages read today: 166
Total number of books read: 5
Total number of pages read: 1129

Thoughts: 9:30 AM So I arrived at my destination yesterday. I will be off to the beach soon. There is white sand here and everything is flat whereas I'm used to these seaweed infested bumpy sand. I'm going to spend all day reading of course but with that background it's just going to be wonderful. Regarding books I completed my 5th one at last night at 12 AM. So that's why I counted it for today. I'm starting to read my mother-daughter book club read - Safe Haven. And I will be also be reading Shift today. I will try to work on replying back to everyone's comments this morning but if not I will be on later... I don't know what is later for me so I will leave it that. Really having trouble with the song choices. I will probably have to do it after I get back. 

Tuesday, June 11th
Current Book(s)

Number of books read today: 1
Number of pages read today: 252
Total number of books read: 6
Total number of pages read: 1381

10 AM: I'm continuing with my mother-daughter book: Safe Haven. It's a great read by the way. I hope to finish Shift today. I only read 60 pages because I was catching up to my mother's pages in Safe Haven which was 88 pages (Chapter 10). It's nice that we can talk about books together but I really want to finish Shift. It has this crazy alien? shifter theory. I will have to explain it on my review later. I only have like 10 minutes to do this every morning so I will have to wait until I get home so I can comment freely. I want to do better in this challenge. Hopefully I will be able to read a book today and tomorrow on the ride home.

Wednesday, June 12th
Current Book(s)

Number of books read today: 1
Number of pages read today: 280
Total number of books read: 7
Total number of pages read: 1661

Thoughts: 10 AM: Finally finished Shift! And I am going home today so I actually get to use my laptop for more than ten minutes! My face is really red. I got a lot of sun but nothing hurts really bad or anything so I'm happy. This was such a great mini vacation inside my vacation. I'm going to catch up to my mother in Safe Haven today. She's a really slow reader but by the time I read Shift she got 100 pages ahead of me. I'm starting The Deadly Sister too. I have a thing for sister stories lately. There are a couple of them I want to read this week or the next.

EDIT: So I stopped early. In total I read 7/10 books and read 1,661 pages. Pretty good for my first read-a-thon.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Standalone. St. Martin's Griffin (June 2013) Itching for Books
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .                                                                      
Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.                                                                     
He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.                                                                                                                                         
Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.                                            
Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

I don't really know where to start with this book. My head is just a crazy jumble of words trying to form but I can't seem to pick the right ones to describe what I went through. This was this mysterious, grim, haunting, completely unexpected type of book. All of the things that happened within the story I didn't see coming. I knew Win was going to be battling with himself but not to the extent where he was quietly destroying and deconstructing himself. It's weird to find a book where a male POV hurt themselves in the past and has body issues. He felt bad about calories and he was a tall but skinny thing. He was unnerving in the way he acted and the way he was.

The story is mostly told in two parts - matter and antimatter. It's his present and his past so you see him now and how he became to be who he is. There's a lot of mystery involved in the story with him talking about being a wolf. I wondered almost to the end if he actually meant he was going to become a werewolf or if there was something else going on. I couldn't really tell. The author was able to sway me to think it was one thing and then think it was the other. My head is swimming because that's how it felt like reading Win's story. The author was able to take me into his world and get to know him at a personal level. His confusion is what I felt. His uncertainty was mine. It was remarkable.

At first I focused a lot on how the way Win thought. He was describing everything a little bit too much. It was like descriptive imagery where he would make sure you knew what he was seeing and feeling by using a lot of words to describe that one thing. It got a little bit annoying because it blocked me from getting into the story. But, that all went away when I actually did get into the story and started learning what was happening to Win.

In his past life he is this whimpering little boy who easily vomits because of his motion sickness. So there is a sense that he is a weak, innocent child but he's also very angry at the world which you see when the "incident" occurs. He judges himself too harshly and you see this kid drowning in himself at such a very young age. It's pretty terrifying that this kid would feel such loneliness and desperation at such a young age. He doesn't change much in the future. He is more of a loner and doesn't let himself get angry even when people push him around. He holds everything in just like he always has. There's something that happened to him and he runs away from it. You learn soon what that is and it's a part of the mystery that consumes the story. There's also the mystery of who he really he is. What is the wolf that lives inside him? All these dark elements make the story truly gripping. It was chilling to see how it all played out and see what happened at the end. It was pretty spectacular.

Overall: This was very dark but it was also a hidden darkness in the book that didn't overwhelm you. I loved the story and how it unfolded before my eyes and how I got to see Win's present and past. I got to see what shaped him. It was a crazy journey but it was also amazing.

       About the Author:
Stephanie Kuehn is a YA writer who grew up in Berkeley, California, which is a quirky sort of a place with a ton of wonderful bookstores. Her very first job was working in one of those bookstores, and she's been a freakishly avid reader for as long as she can remember. 
Stephanie's other passions include mental health advocacy, social justice, and sports of all kinds. She's currently living in Northern California with her family and their wild menagerie of pets.
For more info about the author and her new upcoming release Charm & Strange (June 11th, 2013) you can visit her at her website or twitter
(I'd watch what she does next if I were you)

Thanks to the author and Itching for Books Blog Tours for this tour and giveaway!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Originals by Cat Patrick

Standalone. Little, Brown and Company (May 2013) Own

A riveting new story from Cat Patrick, author of Forgotten and Revived.

17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...     

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.

I really don't think I can describe this book other than mind-numbingly good. It's one of those books that you don't have to think too much about. You just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. I admit that I did a little background check on this book before I bought it. I usually do for those rare books that are actually on my shelf. So I knew that it wasn't going to mega actiony or a very suspenseful sci-fi book. I knew it was going to be really just about three girls dealing with high school, first love, and a strict parent but with a little bit of a twist coming with it. So if you are expecting anything like what I said before about the action and overly suspenseful sci-fi thing going on then this book isn't for you. If you are looking for a book that you can just stick your nose in and simply have a nice time with that doesn't mess with your head - something to get you away from all the heavy stuff in a lot of books then The Originals is for you.

I don't want to underrate this book by saying it's just another high school romance book (even though every book even a high school romance book is interesting and unique in its own way) because it is interesting, it is entertaining, and it did fulfill me in its own way. The clone concept isn't one that's around much which made this more engaging than your regular read. The Originals is basically how three cloned girls try to distinguish themselves from each other. They are doing this at a time where we are all trying to find our own identities - their struggle is just a bit more troublesome.

You would think that there would be three POV's but there is actually just one. Now is when I realize that, that could have made the story a little more interesting but at the time I was okay with it, still am, because with Lizzie I felt like she was finding herself the most. She's the one who feels like she isn't really anyone. She's just a third of a person. Ella is amazingly intelligent and flies through her classes and Betsy is this tough-take-chances type of girl. I actually really loved Betsey. Whenever she talked or did anything I had to admire her. She was really strong as was Lizzie. Lizzie was just coming into herself while Betsy always was the first to act. Lizzie was learning to be more of that person. 

They have this really complicated relationship with their mother. I don't want to get into how they are who they are and the government agency because it's better to discover it yourself and nothing really big happens with it except well... you can figure it out on your own. Anyways her mother has them on a tight leash and I know that others have questioned why they didn't rebel sooner. Well, I understand where they are coming from. I honestly didn't think about it too much while I was reading it but I feel like now is when they are rebelling because they discovered that they can't live like this forever and that they don't know who they are. They are this one singular person and all that changes when boys get into the mix which is what boys do. Complicate things.

Lizzie's love interest is Sean Kelly. He's this super cute artist and superman-esqe look alike. He also has those superman moves in that he's the hero but Lizzie isn't a damsel in distress. He's just the overall good guy that is friendly towards anyone but he has his own twist to him since he's a writer and photographer. Him and Lizzie work well together. I wasn't anxious or doting on how adorable they were but they were cute together and they brought out their real selves with each other. They did have some moments where they got jealous of other people (naturally because people flirt and you can't control what your sisters do when they are essentially the only you the world knows about) and it was kind of like you just met each other you shouldn't be that jealous to give someone the stink eye or ask them abrupt questions. But, it was just tiny moments a couple of times so I wouldn't worry about it. Other than that they were fun to read about.

There is a little mystery and some events happen to them... (of course). It did keep me interested and guessing some about what was going on or what was going to happen to them so I liked that addition to the story. There is one other thing I didn't particularly like about the story other than the jealous moments and it was that the book ended a little weird. I mean I wanted to know what happened next and I think this book could have benefited with either a sequel or a less... let's just say weird ending.. but it's not quite that. It just ended a little too soon or not in the right place...I don't know it just was a little off for me but it didn't deter me from liking the overall ending of the story.

Overall: This was a fun read that provided me with a great reading escape. The twist of the main characters being clones and finding out their personalities and what was going to happen to them really made this story what it was - a wonderful, relaxing read.

For more info about Cat Patrick and her books you can visit her website where I discovered another one of her books coming out in August (co-written with Suzanne Young - author of The Program) that you might like:

One decision will change everything…     

Caroline is at a crossroads.                                    

Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline’s been bedside since Gram’s stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape—both her family and the reality of Gram’s failing health. So when Caroline’s best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: Stay by Gram’s side for what might be her final hours, or Go to the party and live her life.                                                     
The consequences of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two separate paths— and she is about to live them both.                                                                                                                    
Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she’s ever wanted. Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending . . .

Erasing Time by C.J. Hill

Erasing Time #1. Katherine Tegen Books (August 2012) Library
When twins Sheridan and Taylor wake up 400 years in the future, they find a changed world: domed cities, no animals, and a language that's so different, it barely sounds like English. And the worst news: They can't go back home.

The twenty-fifth-century government transported the girls to their city hoping to find a famous scientist to help perfect a devastating new weapon. The same government has implanted tracking devices in the citizens, limiting and examining everything they do. Taylor and Sheridan have to find a way out of the city before the government discovers their secrets. To complicate matters, the moblike Dakine has interest in getting hold of them too. The only way for the girls to elude their pursuers is to put their trust in Echo, a guy with secrets of his own. The trio must put their faith in the unknown to make a harrowing escape into the wilds beyond the city.                                                                                                                         

Full of adrenaline-injected chases and heartbreaking confessions, Erasing Time explores the strength of the bonds between twins, the risks and rewards of trust, and the hard road to finding the courage to fight for what you believe in.

Oh my goodness you guys! This book was awesome *sing song voice* I always know if I love a book before it ends when I start explaining what's happening in the story to my parents. When I do that it means I'm so excited about a book that I need to discuss it with anyone that's near me even if they read as little as 5 books a year (horrifying I know). I just can't help needing to spread my excitement over this book... and what a book it is.

So about 400 years into the future the government is looking for a guy named Tyler Sherwood. He's supposed to be this pretty important scientist that the scientists in the future want for a certain project. He also happens to be the guy who made a time machine! which is how twin sisters come into the mix. The time machine or time strainer brought two twin sisters into the future instead of the all important scientist. Their names are Sheridan and Taylor which kind of resembles the name Tyler Sherwood so you can guess why they were taken. 

There are two POV's in the story. One of them is one the twins - Sheridan. Sheridan has always lived in the shadow of her sister who is smarter, braver, prettier, and always gets the guy (hence her supposedly being prettier) while Sheridan is more reserved and quite. Also, while Taylor goes to college and knows everything about physics and science and all that "important" stuff Sheridan is still trudging around in High School like a normal teenager their age. She loves books so I love her. She establishes her love of books fast so I liked her from the first moments I met her. 

400 years into the future Sheridan is the brave one. She stands by her beliefs and doesn't care what people think. Sheridan was just plain awesome. She wasn't arrogant or whiny. She was stronger than she gave herself credit for. She is a good person (not saying that her sister wasn't) who's personality and attitude made it so that I enjoyed reading her story all the way until the end. She had realistic responses and she felt real - the way she was, the way she acted. She sometimes would look out a window and tune everyone out just thinking about her situation trying to wrap her head around what she was going to do. It sounds like something I would do. Sheridan is not only brave and the more grounded one out of the twins in the future she also gets the guy. 

Echo is our second POV. He's from the future and in the future people like to put symbols and color all over their faces, clothes, and hair. There is something you've got to know about Echo... he's totally crush worthy. He's always trying to help Sheridan and her sister.  He's so sweet to Sheridan. He just radiates adorableness... He used to be a partier and was basically like Sheridan's sister which is weird but now he's very serious ever since his brother's died. There's obviously something clearly not right about how his brother died. It all as to do with the Dakine, an evil group bent on getting back their freedom through force and of course it also has to do with a girl.

I loved that there was a debate on religion. Now don't look at me that way. It's not a big deal. It's just incorporated in there a little. It's actually pretty funny how it all turns out. It wasn't even really a "debate" it was Sheridan standing up for what she believed in and that was one of those things. I also loved the two major twists in the story. The first one I was a little surprised at but the second one... I keep on using mind blown to describe it. It completely threw me off guard. It was crazy to think about and wrap my head around. I kept on thinking - Wait. What just happened here!? This is... huh?... and more incoherent babbling. I'm probably not doing my reaction to the twists justice but believe me. It was AWESOME. 

Overall: This book was amazing! Sheridan was an easy character t like and so was Echo for that matter. I cared for both of them and wanted to see them happy. The government is crazy which I like in my futuristic books. How everything came together was just wonderful. I couldn't be happier with this book and I seriously wish I owned it - it's that good.

You can check out the trailer for Erasing Time here.

If you like Erasing Time you might like:

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Judy Moody Was in a Mood by Megan McDonald Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Judy Moody #1. Candlewick Press (August 2010) Library
The first installment in the popular and best-selling series starring Judy Moody. To start, Judy Moody doesn't have high hopes for third grade. Her new desk won't have an armadillo sticker with her name on it. Her new classroom will not have a porcupine named Roger. And with her luck, she'll get stuck sitting in the first row, where Mr. Todd will notice every time she tries to pass a note to her best friend, Rocky. An aspiring doctor, Judy does have a little brother who comes in handy for practicing medicine, a cool new pet, and a huge Band-Aid collection. Judy also has an abundance of individuality and attitude, and when Mr. Todd assigns a very special class project, she really gets a chance to express herself Megan McDonald's spirited text and Peter Reynolds's wry illustrations combine in a feisty, funny first chapter book for every kid who has ever felt a little out of sorts.

Judy Moody first came out when I was in the first grade (I did the math). I remember first seeing a whole portable shelf thing with just Judy Moody books at a book fair once but I never checked what it was about let alone got one for myself. Maybe it was the whole "moody" thing. Maybe I thought that she was too uptight or too popular or something although if I was thinking like that at that age then I was the weird one. Anyways it was a mistake. Judy Moody is an adorable book that I'm sure plenty of girls love and many more will come to love when they discover her. She is very moody but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Judy Moody was starting third grade and she was not happy about it. Gone were the days where she didn't have to brush her hair everyday or get out of bed anytime she wanted or even do nothing if she felt like it. She also wouldn't have a class pet porcupine named Roger and she surely would have to sit in the first row with paste eating Frank Pearl bothering her every five minutes. No, it won't be the same but if Judy Moody can get out of her bad mood once she will see that third grade isn't so bad and that she might have judged some people too quickly. 

Judy Moody (I love saying her full name) knows who she is, what she likes, and what she doesn't. She's very sassy and acts the way she wants. She's also very inventive, clever, and smart. I loved how whenever she thought something was cool she would say rare! and how she wore her tiger-striped pajama pants like a star. She didn't mind getting dirty with the boys and playing pranks on her little brother (I thought she could have been nicer to her brother). She is pretty much your average day girl who's got some spunk to her. She was fun to read about and learn about.

The third grade class that she is in gets a month long assignment from the teacher, Mr. Todd, or like Judy Moody likes to call him - Mr. Toad. The assignment is a "Me" project. It's basically a collage of who you are. You put things like where you live, hobbies, what's your favorite pet, and the funniest thing that ever happened to you. Throughout the book you find  more about her and she puts those things on her "Me" project. Some things she already knows like how her hobby is to collect things and other things she doesn't know yet like her favorite pet because according to her, her cat named Mouse is too old and lazy so she finds a new "pet". I thought it was clever of the author to introduce Judy Moody this way. You got to figure out who she was and her personality a little more this way.

Judy Moody has a little brother named Stink. Now I honestly don't know if his actual name is Stink because he isn't called anything else. I felt bad for him because Judy could be a little harsh on him. He was being the typical hovering little brother that wanted to do everything. Stink even has his own series after Judy so you see he tries to make sure he's included in every way. Her best friend is Rocky who has a thing for magic tricks. It would be nice if there is a book just about her and Rock's friendship (I don't know if there is one or not) so I could get to know him better. Then there is Frank Pearl the paste eating boy who invited her to his birthday on the first day which she avoids responding to whenever he brings it up. There's not much to tell about him without ruining anything so I won't...

Overall: Judy Moody Was in a Mood is a great book for girls. Judy Moody seems like she would be a great character to grow up with although I wish she would be nicer to her brother. It was a fun journey that I plan on continuing with the rest of the series so don't be surprised if you see more Judy Moody reviews on here. And of course, did you notice who illustrated this book? Yes! It's Peter H. Reynolds who I love as an artist. He did a fantastic job capturing the characters personalities.

For More info you should go to the Judy Moody website where there are excerpts for all the books, there are also activities you can do as well as there are some here, and you can get a certificate to join the fan club which is pretty much adorable defined. You can learn about the Stink series also at a separate website.

If you like Judy Moody you might want to check out the Ramona Quimby series, Junie B. Jones, the Stink series of course, and also a book I have read and enjoyed that I think Judy Moody fans will love (it's part of the Fudge series):

Life with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter Hatcher feel like a fourth grade nothing. Whether Fudge is throwing a temper tantrum in a shoe store, smearing mashed potatoes on the walls at Hamburger Heaven, or trying to fly, he’s never far from trouble. He’s an almost three-year-old terror who gets away with everything, and Peter’s had it up to here!                 
When Fudge walks off with Dribble, Peter’s pet turtle, it’s the last straw. Peter has put up with Fudge for too long. Way too long! How can he get his parents to pay attention to him for a change?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Amandine by Adele Griffin

Standalone. Open Road Young Readers (February 2013) NetGalley
Delia’s new friend is not what she seems

Each day of Delia’s first week of high school, her parents ask her the same question: Did you make any friends today? Finally, the answer is yes. Her name is Amandine, and she is the most exciting person in town. An artist, a dancer, and a teller of tall tales, she has enough charm to make Delia forget her loneliness. Like Delia, Amandine is an outsider—a city girl with too much personality for a small town.. Delia notices something strange about her friend from the start. Everything she says is a little bit too wild to be true. When the exaggerations get more serious, Delia finds it’s too late to escape. Amandine has chosen Delia—and if Delia isn’t careful, the vengeful, dangerous Amandine will set her life on fire. 

You know who's my new friend? Adele Griffin. After reading Amandine I am more than ready to read more. She crafts the tale of Delia, our main character, who just moved into town. Delia's a loner, overweight, and has a secret that can come and bite her back if she isn't too careful. The story is told in the past tense. Delia is trying to come to terms with how things turned out all messed up. She starts her story off with her meeting a strange girl with a lab coat and ballet shoes asking her if she wanted to see a journal she keeps of all of her ugliest things. The girl's name is Amandine and she likes to shock people. She likes to be noticed to which is evident based on her clothing. She also likes to manipulate you into staying her friend after you realize that even if she's very different from everyone else and she seems like a ton of fun to be with, in reality she's very harsh and will do anything to get what she wants even if it means trying to hurt you.

I loved the way the story was told in past tense. Delia has one of those wise, I've-seen-everything type of voices. It was easy to slip into her world because of that. I don't know how but Delia just got to me right away. I cared about her and could never think of seeing her as someone in the wrong. She may have played games with Amandine but she never meant anything to go to far. Amandine had a way of making her feel like she was in the wrong by putting others against her. And everyone just adored Amandine because she was so casually... her. She just does everything so overdramatically  She's one person and then she's another. Nice, sweet, the perfect daughter that her parents could hope for. But, she was so... pushy and mean. The lives of others were just a game to her. I couldn't help be fascinated just like Delia was by how she interacted with people and swayed them onto her side.

I did not think she could tell I was staring at her, but she knew. It was something I learned about her, later. That Amandine was always aware of her audience.

Delia's secret was an interesting one. I think by Amandine trying to hold it over her head she made the situation worse for herself. Sometimes enough is enough but then Amandine of course had another trump card. The story was basically showing how things can spiral out of control. How if you don't take a hold of what makes you you there just may be a chance that someone will come up and give you a new identity, a new way of being. It shows you how easily the world can change you and one person can mess up what you percieved the world and people to be. It also about learning from your mistakes. Really what I thought about the message of the story was to choose your friends wisely and make sure they aren't crazy people... But, no really is was a great story with great messages. It was haunting and it was beautiful.

Ah, nobody learns anything from being happy.

Overall: Absolutely loved this book. It made me think. It's characters were fascinating. I loved this story so so much. I loved everything about it and more. And of course I loved it because how can I not be a fan of someone who's a fan of another great author - my favorite author - Robert Cormier - the genius.

For more info about the author and her books you should head over to her website where you will find info on all her books including an upcoming release (coming out Fall 2013) you might like if you liked Amandine:

LOUD. There was an accident. Ember knows at least that much. She was driving. The car was totaled. She suffered back injuries and brain trauma. But she is alive. That's the only thing left she can cling to.
AWAKE. Eight months later, Ember feels broken. The pieces of her former self no longer fit together. She can't even remember the six weeks of her life leading up to the accident. Where was she going? Who was she with? And what happened during those six weeks that her friends and family won't talk about?
LOST. One by one, Ember discovers the answers to these questions, like a twisted game of dominos. And little by little, the person she used to be slips further and further away.
In the wake of her critically praised young adult psychological thrillers, Tighter and All You Never Wanted, National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin has created another triumph. Loud Awake & Lost is an unflinching story of loss and recovery.

Mini Reviews: Anya's Ghost, Mudman, and Sumo

Standalone. First Second (June 2011) Library
Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part...

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.                          
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.                                                                                                                                                               
Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya's Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

I don't know what I quite expected with this book. I think I must have gone with the thought that this was going to be like Friends with Boys which is a previous ghost graphic novel book that I absolutely loved. Although Anya's Ghost wasn't as amazing as Friends with Boys it still was great in it's own way. Anya comes from a culture that is just so not her. She feels like an outcast at her school because of her background. She doesn't really have any friends and when she finds one in a ghost she's surprised and a little freaked out at first (which is the appropriate response). The ghost helps her cheat in life and it's all good and dandy until Anya figures out who she really is and what she attends to do.

I liked the lessons in the story. Be yourself, accept where you come from, and don't let anyone change you. Her family was sweet especially her little rascal of a brother. She's very different but also very "artistry". Not that she draws or anything just that she could be that weird/different/cool type of person. The illustrations were amazing. I loved the way the characters and the MC's story was depicted. I wish the author would write another graphic novel like this one already.

She did this mini comic you can "read" here. It's pretty sad but cool.

Mudman #1. Image Comics (October 2012) NetGalley
It's the first day back at school for Owen Craig, and it's not going too well. He's been run over, got detention, and his police officer father has been taken prisoner by armed bank robbers. And now his body seems to be turning to mud... 

A guy who's super power is slinging mud around? Cool. Or so I thought... I really couldn't get into the story and the MC. The author tried to do this mysterious background but you know what? It just didn't get me excited or wondering what was going to happen. I was mainly confused or like meh with the story. The illustrations weren't that great either. I thought for a while that maybe it was the format in which I was reading the comic but I've read others the same way and didn't get this shaky kind of rushed feel to the illustrations. This book just wasn't for me.


Standalone. First Second (December 2012) NetGalley
Scott is a washed-up football player who never made it, and whose girlfriend abandoned him along with his dreams of playing pro football. But things have a way of working out, in this sweet, poetic tale--and a new chapter in Scott's life begins as the old one ends. Offered a position in a Japanese sumo training "stable," Scott abandons his old life, his old name, and even his old hair color, and becomes an aspiring sumo wrestler. And in so doing, he begins to find some kind of center in himself...a center that had seemed lost for good.

Thien Pham, the acclaimed illustrator of Gene Luen Yang's Level Up, returns as the writer and artist of a unique new graphic novel.Highly poetic and structured to echo the slow build and sudden clash of a sumo match, Pham's Sumo is an unusual and beautiful book. It's nearly a contradiction in terms: a delicate, deft, tender tale about...sumo wrestling.

Sumo is a very light, simple read. Scott failed at his dream and lost his girlfriend because of not becoming this great football star so he decides to leave his family, his friends, and his home to move to Japan to train to become a Sumo wrestler. What's funny is that his ex-girlfriend didn't want him to go or something and felt bad when she left him because he didn't become this big huge football player. Such a hypocrite. Anyways the idea that an ex-football player would leave everything to become a sumo wrestler intrigued me. It is such a random thing to do that I wanted to know how it turned out.

The story/illustrations/feel of the book reflected Scott. It was a very quiet book. It was giving you time to contemplate life like it seemed Scott was always doing. He was trying to overcome his failure and find something to fill that void. It was somewhat inspiring in a way how it all turned out. I also liked that he found a girl that appreciated him. The illustrations were alright. They kind of fit the feel of the storyIt was a very sweet story although it didn't amaze me.

I must read more graphic novels... I love them so much.